HOW LONG IS A FILM SCRIPT?
LENGTH OF SCREEN TIME TO PAGES - 1 MIN PER PAGE RULE OF THUMB
To begin, a script should only be as long as needed to tell the story. This will vary from writer to writer, and that will be cut by producers and directors. But do not let that affect your creative flow. It is all part of the collaborative development process.
Hundreds of movies are made every year using this process. You may have a story, but films need screen-plays in a certain format that directors understand - and that is a story adapted to this purpose. So we start with a script, but only a few scripts make a really enjoyable film, and fewer still (hopefully ours) become classics. What is the secret?
If only we knew. If only the film industry knew - if they did, all films would be blockbusters.
Where chance favours the prepared mind, prepare yourself as much as you can. But, don't get hung up on technicalities. This is art. Don't stifle innovation simply to comply. If everyone did, there would be no breaking of new ground. Making Oscar grumpy.
The length of any film is dependent on the story you are trying to tell and the budget for the movie. The average length of a live action movie is 100-120 minutes. For an animation it is less, around 90 - 100 minutes.
Formating scripts for movies is fairly rigid. It is thus possible that there is a correlation between page count and screen time - as in the "one page per minute rule."
Writers do not have much scope to change the length of their:
1. Scene headings,
2. Character names and Parentheticals* (as counted by lines, not words)
means that the elements that could most affect the length of a script and the length of a finished film are Action and Dialogue.
The list below is
an example of the many phases that can shape a film’s contents:
- Directors, producers, studios will suggest changes.
- Actors will suggest changes
- Changes will be made to accommodate the budget, schedule, locations and weather.
- Actors and director working together to craft a performance, sometimes change the lines.
- The editor will edit the final scenes from what was shot.
A "final cut" can be affected by censors, exhibitors, airlines
ARE THESE RULE'S GOOD FOR ?
* Parentheticals, or actor/character directions (or “wrylies”) are those little descriptions that sometimes appear after a character’s name in a script, in dialogue blocks, to spell out tone, intent or action.
They are mini scene descriptions written in the dialogue, a useful and essential tool for a screenwriter to communicate their intent. Usually, parenthetical will describe action, emotion or the way the character delivers the dialogue.
SAMPLE SCENES - John Storm is a resourceful ocean conservationist, determined to save an injured whale from being eaten by sharks, while trapped in ghost fishing nets. The story is designed to represent the interests of all the participants, and compassion for marine life, where the oceans feed more than 20% of people on planet earth. We simply could not do without seafood produce, but this asset should be treated with respect.
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